Vietnamese government arrest several journalists for using social media

A former radio journalist in Vietnam was jailed on an anti-state charge, according to state media

Thanh Pham Chi , a 68-year-old pro-democracy activist fiercely critical of the regime on Facebook, was imprisoned for 5½ years on the charge of “making, hoarding, disseminating and spreading information and documents against the socialist republic of Vietnam”, according to state-run Vietnam News Agency.

Vietnamese police also arrested 51-year-old Dung Le Van, on the same accusation in June.

As a freelancer, Dung had posted live reports on Facebook and Youtube discussing the country’s socio-economic and political situation, including its relations with neighbouring China.

State media have also reported the recent arrests of at least four freelance journalists for “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state”.

Vietnam bans all independent media outlets, and is ranked 175th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.